Cuppa'T Specialty Teas

Recent Tasting Notes

85

Received this from Lala! She was super thoughtful and sent out Christmas cards to people with tea samples. The tea comes from a local store that I’ve never been to, but plan on going to when I’m up in the city the next few weeks. I really wanted to try this one out prior to leaving, to now if it’s something I’ll want to stock up on while I have the opportunity to do so.

Dry, the leaf smells exactly like what I had wanted from Butiki’s Almond Indulgence; it’s sweet and candy like, with clear almond smell – but the hard to describe almost fruity sweetness of almond extract or almond flavouring in baking! So good!

For my preparation I went with a just slightly heaping tsp. of leaf in 10 oz. of boiling water, steeped for four minutes. I just ordered pizza, so I’m drinking this while eating cheese and pineapple pizza and two bite brownies (I felt too sick to actually cook anything, but was starving). It’s a weird pairing, honestly.

The tea tastes very good; very cakey or like pastry like which really ties in to the “sweet almond baking” thing that the dry leaf reminds me of. It’s very almond with a smooth black base and a very light hint of cinnamon. So, so tasty! Yeah, I’m totally going to be picking up more of this!

Thank you Lala!

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97

So I bought this to blend with another tea. But I thought I better try it by itself before its all gone and blended away. This one smells sweet, not too smokey. There is a light sweetness to the tea, also a little but of malt. Hardley any smoke, but there is some there. The liquor is thick but the flavour is very light and basic. I feel like there is some vegetal flavour to this like it is almost a black tea but not quite. Just the slightest metallic tinge in the aftertaste. No astringency or bitterness. I love keemun. I am kind of sad I blended it all away, but I know where I can get more :)

So on a sidenote, I have found my favorite tea blend. It is this tea, mixed half and half with lapsang (also from Cuppa T, although it really doesn’t matter where the tea is from) mixed with two fresh slices of ginger, and a slice of naval orange. Brewed for 1 minute at just less than boiling. The orange and ginger stay in the cup. It is delicious. It is like Sunday breakfast, when you stuff your face with bacon, pancakes, milk and orange juice. And then lay on the couch the rest of the day. So good.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec
Sil

nice! i so need to try your orange and ginger tricks one of these days

caile

Sounds like a tasty blend!

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63

For a while, I was obsessed with flowering teas. I just thought it was so neat how the balls would open up in beautiful pieces of art. But what I found after a while is I dislike how most of them tasted. I totally understand it is super hard to artfully sow tea leaves together so they bloom perfectly, I am sure there are only a few kinds of tea leaves that will work for this, but I just don’t like the taste of most of them.

This one is super jasmine smelling. Very parfumey, not parfume in the sense of good smelling, but parfume as in body spray. There is a definite chemical type smell to this one.

The taste is not as bad as I had anticipated from the parfumey smell. It is definitely jasmine. There is a chemical parfume taste but it is very light. There are some really sweet notes that remind me of berries, maybe like cherries. There are also some peppery notes. The jasmine is mellowing quite a bit as it cools, and the sweet berry notes are becoming stronger.

I have to take back what I said above, this one is tasting not too bad, not a favourite or cupboard staple, but it is drinkable.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 45 sec
K S

I got to the point of cutting the offending flowers out after the ball opened, so I could better enjoy the second cup. Globe amareth is just kind of nasty after awhile.

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61

Thank you Lala for this sample. From my Secret Pumpkin package. :)

The cinnamon is strong in this blend but there is something spicier lurking behind it, like pepper or chilli…it tickles my nose as I sniff.

Flavour wise I had to double check I had the correct tea…I can taste cocoa mixed with cinnamon and spices. No pumpkin though which is a shame. The black tea is strong compared to the rest of the blend and at best it tastes like a black tea with mild spices.

Some sweetener lessens the black teas thickness but there is even less spice if none now to speak of.

This tea is just not for me, it’s disappointing but at least drinkable.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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59

I steeped it a bit longer this time and it resulted in more almond and less rooibos. Not nearly as delicious as Davidstea Alpine Punch, but it’s better than my first cup!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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59

I’m just now getting back into my Secret Pumpkin/Turkey swaps! This one was from my Secret Pumpkin Lala. If I hadn’t known this was flavored rooibos, I might not have known, since it was mostly just rooibos. Thankfully, I like plain rooibos. Very occasionally I would get a hint of sweet almond in my sip, but it wasn’t throughout the sip, it was more like “ohh, ahh, nice, now back to rooibos”. This isn’t something I’d stock in my cupboard ‘cause really, if I wanted rooibos, I’d just buy rooibos, but I’ll definitely use up the sample.

Also, how many times can I include rooibos in a review? Many many times.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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73

sample sidpdown! and i’m back down to 140 teas. 15 days ish to get through 35 more haha.

I received this in the mail the other day from Lala with a really thoughtful, surprise holiday card. :) It was a wonderful surprise to get in the mail! Thank you a bunch lala. This tea smells a lot like a combination of brioche and S&V’s sweet almond tea (i think it is…) that i enjoy.

I brewed this up this evening since i was in a bit of a holiday, festive mood after my afternoon with raritea. This has a great almond taste to it along with a bit of cinnamon. It’s not cinnamon heavy though – rather the cinnamon just enhances the almond flavour. over all a pretty tasty tea, though it’s a little thin? for my tastes. While drinking it, i kept wishing for it to have a bit more of a full feeling to it. however, still a delicious cup! thanks Lala

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Lala

Happy you enjoyed it!

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70

I received a lovely holiday card tea card in the mail yesterday from Lala. Thank you so much for the warm, generous, thoughtful gesture. I am truly touched by your kindness. In the card was a sample of this tea.
This is a nice light almond cinnamon tea. In Lala’s tasting note she suggests cake, I’m getting bakery, but I think more strudel or danish – yep almond, cinnamon “coffee cake” danish.
I’m not sure I would have bought this for myself, but am really happy to have gotten this sample. Thank you!!!

Lala

You’re welcome. Glad you liked it.

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90

I actually really enjoy this rooibos. It is slightly woodsy but not too strong. Those woodsy notes work well here with the orange and pistachio.

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90

I made some rhubarb muffins with rhubarb from my garden, so this seemed to be a good pairing for my snack. I was completely right because this was delicious together.
This tea isn’t sweet at all, it is a little creamy, and maybe a little bit malty? I don’t know, I am not even sure how to describe it.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
TheTeaFairy

Mmmmm….rhubarb!

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90

This cuppa was nice. There are actual strawberry bits and it tastes fairly natural. There is a definite creaminess. I quite enjoyed it

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79

Thank you Lala for this sample. Received from my Secret Pumpkin package.

This blend smells very spicy and nutty. The coriander adds a herbal element to the spice, it is like a chai with a difference.

The orange comes through nicely in the flavour being sweet and creamy in the first few sips which is followed by a dry nutty and spicy chai like flavour. The pistachio is rather heavy for for a non pistachio fan like myself but it’s forgiving as by the time you think ‘yuck pistachio’ the spices come in and you end up thinking ‘yum spices’.

The orange actually becomes stronger as it cools which is a large plus for me as I love orange.

I like it, sort of orange tea meets a nutty chai tea.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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80

Thank you Lala for this generous sample!

This tea is not as flavourful as I would of hoped as Lala mentioned. I still enjoy it though, the subtle black base and the subtle hints of orange. Not a tea I would choose if I wanted a big kick in the morning. It seems like an afternoon tea

Boiling water cooled down a bit for 4 minutes
Rating 85?

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76

This one initially reminded me of a chai, mostly because of the ingredients. But now that I have drank it, I would say nope, no chai in there.

This one tastes strongly nutty. Definitely a thick pistachio taste. But it is not super distinctive pistachio, I think I know it is pistachio because I knew that was one of the ingredients. The rooibos is kind of woody, but it is pairing really well with a sweet but light, and slightly bitter orange rind flavour. This is a blend where the woody taste of the rooibos is definitely working in favour of the tea. The pepper gives it is bit of heat but I would not call this a spicey tea. Very nice blend, definitely can drink this as the weather starts to turn colder.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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66

Any of you who have been following me for a while and reading my notes will know that I have certain “difficulties” with pu’erh.

I just can’t find a pu’erh that I like. It all tastes fishy or mushroomy to me. I have found some highly flavoured pu’erhs that I can drink. I feel like I really need to buy some expensive stuff and try it out to know for sure because I have only tried relatively cheap and generic pu’erh. But I don’t want to spend lots of money on something I am pretty much guaranteed not to like. Tea drama all around.

This tea smells like cinnamon candies, mmmmmm cinnamon, uuuggghhh pu’erh!?! It smelled delicious, it is a flavoured loose tea, so I thought I would try it.

The dry tea is solid red hots candy smelling.

After brewing, immediately as I took the strainer out of my cup, I got a quick whiff of mushrooms. Proceed with caution.

The smell of the brewed tea is not terrible, strongly cinnamon but also earthy, not mushroomy though. A little less caution now.

The tea tastes like cinnamon, not as sweet as it smells. The pu’erh tea is strong under the cinnamon but it is more earthy tasting. So no fish. No mushrooms. I do feel like I am getting a taste of dirt every once in a while. More like fresh, moist potting soil. (No, I don’t eat potting soil, but if you are a gardener you will know what I mean). The liquor feels very thick. It tastes strong.

This one is kind of reminding me of cinnamon coffee for some reason. Overall not too bad. I think I can drink this one. I just have to keep telling myself that not all pu’erh is evil.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Fanatos

Not all puerhs is evil :)

tigress_al

Have you tried a quick rinse with pu’erh? That has worked for me on a couple that I found too “mushroom”

Lala

I have tried rinsing, although I don’t usually do that with flavoured pu. I have also tried diff steep temps and time, gonfu vs western style, trying more than one steep. I just can’t get it figured out. I think I just don’t like pu’erh. But I never get the same flavour profiles that other members on steepster get, so that makes me think I am doing something wrong. Ha ha.

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95

Attention Steepster. I love and hate you at the same time. I did not type for the last 5 minutes in order for you to just throw it all away without saving it. You are a cruel, cruel friend.

So back to the memories of this review…

I didn’t buy this one for me but I had to try it when I got home because it was so interesting. It also had rave reviews from the tea shop owner.

The dry tea reminds me so much of Christmas. It is black tea with red safflower petals and almond slivers. So pretty.

The dry tea does not really smell that amazing. It is kinda like cinnamon and nuts.

The brewed tea is delicious. The black tea and safflower petals give it a cake-y/heavy pastry flavour. There is a light cinnamon taste. It is more sweet cinnamon than spicey cinnamon. There is a light almond flavour. It is not marizipan like I find a lot of almond teas taste like, it is more natural almond taste.

This one reminds me of a coffee cake (heavy white cake/bread with cinnamon and sugar). I don’t think this one is going to last too long in my house. I will most likely go and get more.

I can imagine this would be great with milk and brown sugar, so I will just have to try another cup.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Sil

sounds delicious!

Terri HarpLady

I hate when that happens!
The tea sounds tasty though!

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Finished off the rest of my sample this morning. I’m taking the day off as it is my birthday and already managed to make a tea order (oops). I still like this but it’s not special enough for me to want to get more. Sipdown (why is this so satisfying?)!

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Hmm I’m pretty sure now I know Lala was my secret pumpkin!

In any case, maybe it’s my cold, or maybe I didn’t steep long enough, but this is a very light spice. I’m not detecting any pumpkin. I added a touch of sweetener. It’s not bad by any means but I’m not sure I’d go out of my way to purchase.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Lala

Ha ha. Not too hard to tell it was me, hey?

jeweledthumb

Well when the only other review was from you, it was a good clue!

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77

Made this one again this morning. I made the tea double strength and then added some brown rock sugar and milk. It is much more pumpkin pie/pumpkin dessert like this. I am getting the taste of pumpkin and autumn spices, I am also getting a bit of pastry taste. It is also very creamy, most likely from the milk I added but it is working well with this tea.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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77

This is not a tea I would normally have purchased. I picked it up for the Secret Pumpkin exchange. Stepping outside the box!!

This one smells like a chai to me. Reminds me of Christmas spices, lots of cinnamon smell.

The tea tastes quite good. It is reminded me of pumpkin oatmeal cookies that my mom makes. Its essentially an oatmeal cookie with pumpkin paste mixed in. They are super soft and delicious. Pumpkin is not necessarily my favorite in pie form, but cookie form – delicious. There are definitely pumpkin pie spices. I taste cinnamon, maybe nutmeg.

I think the liquor could have been thicker, so next time I will have to try using more tea. I used 1 tsp for this cup. I think some creamer or milk may have helped bring out the dessert taste in this.

Overall not bad. I was worried that there was hibiscus in the ingredients but I can’t even tell its in there.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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68

I actually did not intend to buy this tea. But I wasn’t paying attention and this is what I came home with.

This tea smells very sharp. There is definitely an almond smell. I would describe this tea as candied almond. There are small pieces of chopped up almond in the mix. The brewed tea smells like sweet almond. I almost get a hint of Granny Smith green apples.

The tea tastes strongly of rooibos. There is a sweetness from the rooibos. There is also an almond taste. Very slightly like marzipan but not quite. I get that little bit of apple flavour in the aftertaste.

Overall an ok tea for a rooibos blend, not what I wanted but I guess I should be paying more attention next time. Its like I get into a tea store and can’t even focus…there is too much to see and smell and I just want, want, WANT…ha ha. I think it is safe to say that is a common occurrence for most of us… :P

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec
tigress_al

Lol, I always get carried away in tea shops, and Cuppa is no exception!

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77

Picked this up at the local farmers market. I couldn’t resist the blood orange. I do wish though, I would have asked which tea was used to make it before I purchased it.

This ice cream was made with this tea: http://steepster.com/teas/cuppat-specialty-teas/36763-organic-blood-orange-rooibos which is a rooibos tea.

The ice cream did not taste so much like blood orange but more orange creamsicle, which is fine by me. But there was still a rooibos taste, which is strange in ice cream. The good thing is it wasn’t medicinal rooibos tasting. I would also describe it tasting like blood orange but without the tartness, like sweet orange maybe, and very creamy. So I am going to go back to saying it tasted like orange creamsicle.

This ice cream was good, but I think I would prefer an tea ice cream that is not made with rooibos.

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